Turning Pages Together: Celebrating National Family Literacy Day

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There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.

Jacqueline Kennedy

Jacqueline Kennedy’s timeless wisdom reminds us that within the pages of a book lies a magical journey, a key to unlocking vast landscapes of imagination and knowledge. National Family Literacy Day, observed annually on November 1 or the first week of November, underscores the importance of families engaging in literacy activities. We should not consider the day merely an event on the calendar but an opportunity to cultivate the love of books—the most precious gift we can bestow upon the young minds we nurture.

National Family Literacy Day is a catalyst for change. The day encourages collective participation in diverse literacy-related endeavors, fostering a shared commitment to developing essential skills within households and communities. Let’s delve into the art of enlarging our children’s worlds, unraveling the threads that connect family, literacy, and the boundless possibilities that unfold when we open the covers of a book.

Guest Readers: Invite parents, grandparents, or community members to be guest readers in the classroom or participate in literacy activities to foster community and involvement. They can read aloud from a favorite book or share a story from their culture or heritage. Use Flip (reviewed here) for families to record a video of a book, book chapter, or story. 

Literacy Workshops: Organize workshops for families on reading strategies, choosing age-appropriate books, and the importance of reading at home. Provide resources and handouts for them to take home.

Literacy-themed Arts and Crafts: Incorporate arts and crafts activities related to favorite books. For example, students can create artwork inspired by a story they love.

Family Storytelling: Encourage families and students to share stories, traditions, or cultural tales to celebrate diversity and promote oral storytelling. Use Sway (reviewed here) to create a multimedia presentation to support the story.

Reading Challenges: Launch a reading challenge for November, where students and their families set reading goals and track their progress. Offer rewards or incentives for reaching milestones.

Book Character Dress-Up Day: Invite students to dress up as their favorite book characters for a fun way to engage everyone in the world of literature.

Reading Buddies: Pair older students with younger ones for buddy reading sessions to promote literacy and build relationships between students of different ages.

Family Literacy Night: Host a special evening event where families can attend the school for literacy-related activities, author visits, book signings, and more.

Community Resources: Share information about local libraries, literacy programs, and other community resources that support family literacy.

The power of family engagement in literacy is not confined to a single day. It must continue throughout our students’ educational journey. By nurturing the love of books and learning within our classrooms, we contribute to the growth of our students and their families. National Family Literacy Day reminds us that every page turned is a step towards a brighter, more interconnected future for our school communities. How will you celebrate National Family Literacy Day? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

About the author: Kevin Bower

Kevin Bower has 21 years of elementary teaching experience, is a certified reading specialist, and teaches instructional technology to pre-service and practicing teachers. He has presented nationally, had his teaching practices cited in various publications, and published a collaborative article on infusing technology into the balanced literacy classroom. Kevin’s research interests focus on using technology to best meet the needs of students with diverse abilities.

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